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No. 3 Michigan rolls over Illinois, 41-8

Wilton Speight finished 16-of-23 through the air for 253 yards and two touchdowns against Illinois to improve Michigan to a 7-0 start.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines (7-0) rolled over the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5) on Saturday at Michigan Stadium. The 41-8 victory was led by Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, who completed 16-of-23 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns.

The Wolverines opened the game with a touchdown from Speight to Jake Butt. Michigan lined up in the “Train Formation” and dispersed, then Butt was found wide open in the end zone for a three-yard score with 10:23 left in the first quarter.

A few minutes later, Speight found himself with another passing touchdown. Tyrone Wheatley Jr. made his first catch of the season in the back of the end zone for 21 yards to give the Wolverines a 14-0 lead.

With 1:01 left in the first quarter, Khalid Hill scored on the ground for the eighth time this season. De’Veon Smith found himself with a touchdown of his own to start the second quarter from four yards out, which gave Michigan a 28-0 edge over Illinois.

Michigan jumped to a 31-0 lead as Kenny Allen delivered a 23-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

In the first half, Illinois starting quarterback Jeff George Jr., the son of former No. 1 NFL draft pick Jeff George, went 0-for-7 with an interception. Dymonte Thomas was the Michigan defensive back to intercept George.

Just when George and the Illinois offense started to gain momentum, the quarterback fumbled the football with 6:54 left in the third quarter. The fumble was picked up by Mike McCray at Michigan’s 25-yard line.

With 43 seconds left in the third quarter, Michigan took a 34-0 lead over Illinois on a 27-yard field goal from Allen.

Michigan allowed Illinois to score with 10:22 left in the game on a 43-yard touchdown pass from George to Malik Turner. After a penalty on Michigan, Illinois decided to go for the two-point conversion. Believe it or not, George found Zach Grant in the end zone to complete the two-point attempt.

Tre Watson, a linebacker from Illinois, was ejected from the game with just under nine minutes to play in the game due to targeting. He hit Michigan backup quarterback John O’Korn and led with his head at the last second.

On the very next play after the ejection of Watson, Karan Higdon broke out for a 45-yard rushing touchdown. The score gave Michigan a 41-8 lead over Illinois with 8:48 left in the contest.

With the win over Illinois, the Wolverines improve to 7-0 on the season. Michigan will battle against the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing next Saturday.